Finance Minister P Chidambaram while addressing an audience in Washington on Thursday said the UPA government will be voted back to power in the general elections in India next year.
"May I tell you in advance that your study will discover that India will vote my government back to power," Chidambaram told the audience on the second day of his US trip to attend the annual plenary meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
Chidambaram's brief remarks, at Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, came in reference to the 'India decided 2014' initiative, which is to track the developments related to the upcoming general elections scheduled for next year.
"I thought I may caution you, lest you waste too much time," the finance minister said, amid laughter from the audience, which included officials from the Obama Administration, think-tanks, academicians and corporate executives.
Responding to questions later, Chidambaram dismissed the notion that the rise of regional parties is against the national interest. "They (regional parties) rise because national parties do not accommodate regional interest as much as they should," he said.
Describing India as a complex nation, the minister said a national party, in a sense, is a federation in itself.
If the national party does not accommodate regional aspiration there is bound to be breakout and a regional party is to be found, Chidambaram said.
"I do not think that rise of regional parties is detrimental to the national interests," he said.